>The world according to W. E. Deming

>So much has been said about the so-called financial crisis and the bailouts of banks and auto makers. Little focus has been placed on the real roots of the problem, which go back decades and not merely to a few “bad apples” abusing the system in recent years. Some of those roots are the way power seeks power – and all of the human foibles that go along with that. Other roots go back to the reasons Japanese manufacturing taught the U.S. a lesson in quality. The Japanese learned their lesson in quality largely from one man, W. Edward Deming, who was dismissed by U.S. industry, so he went to Japan where they were eager to learn. The rest is history.

I first came across Deming by reading his book, Out of the Crisis, after having read a number of other popular business books. Deming’s ideas rock my thinking and I have been a fan ever since.

Never heard of Mr. Deming? The short documentary below, made in the early 90s, is a great introduction. It is also remarkable in light of what we are going through today. People smashing Japanese cars and products with sledge hammers says a lot about how incapable people are at swallowing their pride and be willing to own up to their own roles in crises.

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